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Undergraduate Overview

The B.A. program in Jewish Studies aims to introduce College students to the breadth and depth of Jewish culture spanning three millennia, and to provide them with the skills and tools to examine the texts, languages, and histories of Jews and Judaism. The perspective is contextual, comparative, and interdisciplinary. Whether College students choose to take the occasional course in Jewish Studies, to examine the range of ancient, medieval, and modern periods and communities studied in the three quarter sequences in Judaic civilization, or to pursue a major or minor, they will learn to read the classic texts and to appreciate the complexities of Jewish history and culture.

Israelite Four Horned Alter, Oriental Institute Museum

Students may either major or minor in Jewish Studies. The Undergraduate Program sponsors two sequences of courses: Jewish Thought and Literature I-II-III and Jewish History and Society I-II-III. These courses are designed to be taken either as sequences to satisfy the College civilization requirement or as individual courses that give credit in Jewish Studies. In addition, many faculty in Jewish Studies participate in the College Study Abroad Program in Jerusalem which gives credit toward the Jewish Studies major and minor for its three-quarter sequence Jerusalem in Middle East Civilizations I-II-III.

Judaic Civilization

Two three-quarter sequences in Judaic Civilization offered annually provide a comprehensive introduction to Jewish life and letters: one in Jewish Thought and Literature and one in Jewish History and Society. The sequences are sometimes structured chronologically with individual quarters on the Ancient, Medieval, and Modern periods. At other times, they may be structured thematically. The sequences satisfy the College civilization requirement and also serve as introductory courses for students majoring and minoring in Jewish Studies.

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